Tuesday, May 29, 2012

1 Timothy 6:12

I guess these are personal thoughts. 

What makes a good fight?

Here we meet a lot of activists. 
Peace activists. They advocate for the freedom of the people in this land.
They want justice and negotiation.
They want the land returned. And power.
Not so much political power as that which is personal. 
I want that for them too.

But so much as they can support this fight - it isn't theirs to partake in. 
These activists wear the tears in their clothing with pride.
With flashing eyes they speak of their tear gas and near encounters with IDF soldiers. 
But what does this do? Really. What are even 7 more people at a rally?
After all, it's a Palestinian rally. And they want peace. 
Is this what peace looks like?
I want peace too.

I think a lot of activists just show up and cover the occasion. I don't think I could that without having my own emotions and convictions ensnared by the intensity. 

It's easy to fight, and it's easy to yell. It's easy to get mad, and try to bully back even.
I love taking on causes that aren't my own. 
But I can't do that here. The problem has to be reconciled in each home, not in the streets or political parties. 
Change has to come from vulnerability and sharing. In order to repair this torn garment of 
a country, I believe that the fabric itself needs to be repaired. Stitches need to be reinforced. Trust can't be mended by hands filled with guns and stones - 
big holes cannot be filled with more fire.
Stitches can't be in skin, just like love cannot be in screams.
I once wanted to be an activist.

That's why we're working with Musalaha. I can't claim to know that much of this conflict. To know it is to be one of the many who has lost everything. Sometimes 2 or 3 times. Tonight, one of our friends was sharing that he helped rebuild a family's house after it had been demolished twice in the construction of the West Bank wall. Musalaha strives for reconciliation through understanding, through individual relationships being forged between Palestinians and Israelis. It takes time, sacrifice, and effort, but most truly good things do. [www.musalaha.org]

 I cannot deem that participation in a rally - to yell, and shout, and release misdirected anger or frustration on anyone - is worth it. It's not worth the risk of getting blacklisted and shunned from this country. Or worth the darkening of  (what should be) the bright and calm face of true justice. After all, hope isn't the taunting cry, but the gentle voice (1 Kings 19:12). 

And it's certainly not worth ruining the witness of Christ. Especially when both people groups are so frayed and wanting. 

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for the shall be called the children of God."
[King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)]
Momma Lorice - a gracious and lovely Palestinian woman. I'm wearing her daughter's dress for church.

This one time in Nazareth, things got crazy. We're a plenty less white now... We almost look like locals - "but seriously."

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